Taco cravings can happen any time, not just on Taco Tuesday. Forget the store-bought package of seasoning mix - this recipe is the bomb!
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Forget the store-bought packet of taco spice mix and season ground beef or shredded chicken with this homemade taco seasoning. They're all ingredients you probably already have. This taco seasoning recipe is the bomb! And don't forget three simple steps to thoroughly infuse the seasonings into the meat.
Taco cravings can happen any time, not just on Taco Tuesdays. I always make sure to have 75-80% lean ground beef in the freezer for just this reason.
The flavor's in the quantity of the spices in the homemade taco seasoning recipe
Are you tired of tacos that lack on flavorful meat? A lot of recipes use many of the same ingredients as my homemade taco seasoning recipe, but the problem is the small amount of spices called for in most of them. To get really flavorful seasoning for your tacos, you just can't skimp on the spices!
I don't add too much cayenne for heat; to me it easily drowns out the rest of the flavors. Hubby likes spicy tacos, so he adds plenty of hot sauce.
Three keys to the best flavor with this homemade taco seasoning recipe
When you're browning beef, break it up into small, small pieces. This way, the spices aren't fighting to work their way into larger chunks of beef. For chicken tacos, be sure your chicken has been shredded and not cut into cubes.
When you add the water, slow simmer it so the seasonings mix well with the water and infuse into the meat.
Lastly, don't cook off all that spiced water - leave a bit in the pan to keep the meat juicy.
About taco shells. I used to always eat tacos with soft flour tortillas, but later I came to prefer the hard-shell corn tortilla. To me, the crunch of the shell and the flavor of the corn take a beef taco to another dimension. My favorite shells are these Old El Paso Stand 'n' Stuff shells - you sure can load on the fixings in these shells!
For fish and chicken tacos, though, I still prefer a soft flour tortilla.
That said, it's all a matter of personal preference, and you should always enjoy your taco your way!
Hungry for Latin American food?
Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
The Beef Filling
- 1 pound 75-80% ground beef
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons cumin (yes, 2!)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper add more if you want more heat
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
Traditional Taco Toppings
- finely sliced lettuce
- sour cream or Mexican crema
- chopped onion
- chopped tomato
- shredded medium cheddar, or Mexican blend
- lime wedges for squeezing
- In a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, brown the ground beef, taking care to break it up into small, small pieces. Remove any excess fat, but not all of it.
- Turn the flame down a bit and add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute, stirring frequently, until the onion becomes transparent.
- Add the water and the spices. Stir well to mix the spices into the liquid thoroughly.
- Cover the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes. This will allow the spices to work their way into the beef.
- Remove the lid and continue cooking at a slow simmer until most but not all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Serve immediately with your choice of tortilla, a lime wedge for squeezing, and the traditional toppings of lettuce, cheese, onion, tomato and sour cream.